What happened to the money?

o the editor:

In Tuesday’s Herald-Star article “Diocese pulls the plug on cathedral renovation,” the reason given for the stoppage is because of “irregularities uncovered including a decade or more of payroll taxes that were collected but never turned over to the Internal Revenue Service.”

Both David Franklin, comptroller, and Monsignor Kurt Kemo, vicar general of the Diocese of Steubenville, were convicted of misappropriation of funds. It also was stated that it cost the diocese $999,713 in interest in addition to $2.8 million in payroll tax debt.

The forensic audit that was done to find the misappropriation was during the time period of 2006-2016. The bishop during most of this time was R. Daniel Conlon, who was the bishop of Steubenville from 2002-2011. In 2003, he started a pastoral plan to close parishes in the city of Steubenville. In 2005, a decree by Conlon named a new parish — Triumph of the Cross. In doing this he euthanized the parishes of Holy Name Cathedral, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Stanislaus, Holy Rosary, St. Pius X and Servants of Christ the King.

During that time, at the euthanizing of these parish communities, Conlon took possession of the property of all of these parishes, their possessions and money that were for these parishes individually, and consolidated it to the parish — Triumph of the Cross. I don’t know about other parishes, but my parish of St. Anthony had money left to it upon the deaths of Monsignor Paul Richter and his brother, Louis, in sizable amounts. Our parish had no debt, had approximately 700 parishioners and was self-sustaining. Where is the money from these parishes? Was it paid toward the $999,713 in interest and $2.8 million in payroll tax debt?

This was caused by one man — Conlon. He is responsible for the killing of thriving communities. This shepard slaughtered the flock he was entrusted with.

Holy Name Cathedral, the bishop’s seat that today is having the plug pulled, is a victim again.

Merica Petrella



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